Why do I receive a "The Name Specified Is Not Recognized" error when I try to run a program at the Windows 2000 or Windows NT command prompt?

A. If you go to the command prompt and attempt to run a program or navigate (i.e., change directory) to a file or folder whose name contains one of the following characters,

 & ( ) ^ ; | , <space> 
you might receive one of two errors. The possible errors are:
  • "<part of the name>" is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file
  • The system can't find the path specified (the name specified isn't recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file)

To work around this problem, either put quotation marks around the entire name or place a caret (^) in front of the special character. For example:

  1. Open the command prompt (go to Start, Run, and type cmd.exe).
  2. Navigate to the %systemroot% folder
     cd /d %systemroot% 
  3. Copy notepad to note&pad.exe
     copy notepad.exe "note&pad.exe" 
  4. Try to run note&pad.exe--you'll receive an error.
  5. Now try running one or both of the following:
     "note&pad.exe"
     note^&pad.exe 
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